Some people believe that human beings have a compassionate instinct. Darwin speaks more about the role of compassion than the role of aggression in human evolution. Darwin stated that “communities, which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.” In other words, compassion is a natural and automatic response that ensures our survival as a species. We see suffering and try to alleviate it. We protect the weak. Perhaps we have a compassionate instinct, but I believe it is much more than that.

Compassionate Instinct

Compassion is a part of me,
a part of my body and brain.
When I see someone suffer,
it is not just a spectacle,
something to be watched out of curiosity,
in gratitude that I am not the one who suffers.

Compassion is not just a call from humanity
to assure the survival of the human race.
It is not just a paternal or maternal instinct.
It is not just a trait to be admired
when choosing a mate to procreate.
It is not just survival of the kindest.

Compassion is like a seed when planted in the heart
that demands to grow its roots in the rich black earth.
It bursts out from this body
and reaches for the light.
It forges a connection with another human soul,
and we share the light
which gives hope to all who walk in darkness.

Compassion is like an animal that paces in its cage
searching diligently for a way out of its prison.
Compassion is being a part of the pack
that longs to be free to run with its own kind.

Compassion flows from an infinite fountain,
constantly driven by a gravitational force.
It offers itself to all who thirst.
It brings the love of life to all who drink.

Compassion is the single source of energy
that gushes from a well of infinite joy
to all who yield to its magnetic force,
to all who allow it to flow through them.

Compassion is the bond that binds us all
to each other and to the source of life and love.